An Enemy of the People

Satisfactory Essays
The play An Enemy of the People focuses on the truth and how different characters reveal their feelings about it. Each character is motivated by different things so act in a certain way. Therefore they end up in conflicts due to their opposing views about the truth of the Baths. For example, the Mayor acts the way he does because he’s motivated by money. Doctor Stockmann tries to expose the truth because of his concern of the public’s health and because he believes he’s doing the right thing. Katherine supports Doctor Stockmann because she’s motivated by family and loyalty towards her husband. As you can see, everyone’s motivated by different things that are important to them.

The Mayor in the play had to ignore the truth because of money. Money played a big role in which motivated the Mayor to ignore the situation of the Baths and also ending up in a conflict with Doctor Stockmann. Since the town gained it major income from the Baths, the Mayor didn’t want to expose the public of the truth. When he says, “Oh, the public has no need for new ideas. The public gets on best with the good old recognized ideas it already has” (Ibsen, 94), he’s being very greedy and saying that it’s better to hide the truth because the people will get mad and try to fix the problem. However, fixing the problem costs a lot of money and the Mayor’s extremely concerned with money and reputation. He didn’t want to put time and money in fixing the pipe in the Baths so he just chose to hide the truth and threaten the public with the increase of tax. Therefore, since the Mayor’s position is a leading, responsible one, he buries the truth in order to protect the success of the Baths.

Katherine, Mrs. Stockmann, is a mother and a wife who’s portrayed as a loving and loyal housewife. At the beginning of the play she was against the idea of Dr. Stockmann who wanted to write an article criticizing the Baths, “Ah, yes, right, right! But what good is the right, if you don’t have the might?” (96). However, when everyone began siding against Dr. Stockmann, Katherine decides to remain loyal to her husband and support his ideas. The reason she supports him is because she’s loyal and she wants to protect her family.
Get Access